Balance and Mobility Programs to Rehabilitate Seniors...by Biodex

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The Balance System SD, BioStep, Gait Trainer 3, Unweighing System and the FreeStep are part of the innovative product offerings for fighting age-related conditions!

Biodex Medical Systems, Inc., Shirley, N.Y., designs rehabilitation technology to complement and speed the recovery process for older adults suffering from physical ailments, conditions and diseases. The technology has been designed with new features to document patient progress and increase results. Because balance and strength play a role in many physical conditions which cause gait problems and lead to injuries from falls— Biodex offers proven methods to provide clinical patients with a tailored balance assessment and conditioning program.

Tackling the needs of the aging adult requires understanding of the complex physiology of this population segment. Biodex has developed a family of products to help seniors increase their mobility and works with leading rehabilitation centers around the country to raise awareness as well as provide the tools necessary to address physical challenges. Each of the products offer a combination of safe and effective approaches to dramatically improve ambulation, balance and activity levels which affect overall well being.

The greatest hurdle in the aging process will be how to keep moving. Maturing adults are outliving their joints, a byproduct of the fitness revolution that has taken place over the last several decades. “The problems affecting the mature adult are not necessarily limited to organs. We are now seeing more joint and bone issues which are preventing older adults from enjoying the mobility that comes with having a healthy heart and lungs from years of exercise,” explains Don Gronachan, rehabilitation sales, Biodex Medical Systems.

This growing trend offers much opportunity for businesses looking to service this segment of the populations’ increasing mobility need. Again, one of the biggest areas of concern is how to keep this group of adults ambulatory, a key component in warding off disease and remaining independent longer. “To compete for clients, and more importantly, deliver results, the aging market will need the latest technology combined with traditional physical therapy. The older adult of today, is so vastly different than the generations that went before them, they have the desire to remain active and the income to do so. In addition, their physical ailments are different,” explains Gronachan, adding, “It really is time to think differently.”

Many visits to physical therapy offices, by adults over 65, involve rehabilitation after joint replacement surgery. With the total amount of joint replacements in the U.S. in 2010 coming in at 773,000, the CDC finds the “demand for joint replacements will grow an estimated 175 percent for total hip replacements and six-fold for total knee replacements by 2030.” For joint replacement to be successful it is important to assist the patient in the rehabilitation process with specific exercises. For the physical therapist, it is important to help the patient achieve results and to demonstrate these results to insurance companies.

Measuring results has become an increasingly important goal in physical therapy and one that has not gone unnoticed by the product development team and field researchers at Biodex. “Our products are able to compile data the human eye cannot possibly detect. Subtle changes in gait and balance are essential components to proving progress is happening. The more diagnostic and rehabilitation tools a physical therapist has at their disposal, the greater the value they are to their patients,” states Gronachan.

Taking it a step further and looking at the broader market of conditions driving the need for rehabilitation, once tallied, is staggering. The statistics speak for themselves, while not all are suffered by the older adult alone; those listed tend to be more prevalent in this age bracket of 65 and older:

  •     Strokes occur in 795,000 people in the U.S.
  •     Joint replacement for hips and knees in the U.S. total: 773,000; Knee replacements 543,000; Hip replacements 230,000
  •     Parkinson’s Disease 500,000 people suffer in the U.S. 50,000 new cases each year

It is clear the trends towards providing greater service offerings will not only benefit the patient but will also have a positive effect on a business’ growth potential.

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Karen Johnson
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